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FORAGE AND NUTRITION
Guide 2017
Table 5: Milk recording results (2016).
Parameter
No. of animals
58
Average lactation days
301
Yield/cow (305 days predicted)
7,441
Milk solids/cow (305 days predicted)
592
Yield/cow (MR)
7,407
Milk solids/cow (MR)
588
Protein % (MR)
3.4
Fat % (MR)
4.5
SCC (MR)
101
Milk from forage (kg)
4,598
Note: MR results are compared with actual calibrated yields
recorder from the parlour and the di erence is <3 per cent
Table 6: 2016 Grassland performance.
Grass Summary
2016
Turnout by day
Mid Feb
Turnout full time
March 1
Full time housing to date
Six days in April & > Oct 28
Start date of closing
Oct 7
Full time housing date
October 28
Target closing cover
700-750kg/DM/ha (Dec 1)
Grass growth (t/ha)
13.06
Silage on MP (t/ha)
1.7
Mitrogen on MP (kg/ha)
235
Table 7: Bulls used in 2016.
Low Milk (low PTA group)
High milk (high PTA group)
YKZ, OZG, DBW, CSW, RNO
YGM, ZOL, AGH, SEW, FAD,
HZB, YRY
Table 8: Reproductive performance.
Overall
Number of cows
58
Submission rate
91 per cent
First serve conception rate
43 per cent
Average conception rate
50 per cent
Six-week pregnancy rate
59 per cent
Empty rate
9 per cent
Financial targets
Our initial financial assumptions involved costs for the system of
21c/L (12c variable, 9c fixed) or a break-even milk price of 2.62/
kg milk solids (MS) [Table 4]). Financial success is predicated on
high output per cow and per ha and good herd fertility.
2016 performance
This was the first full year of this study and, therefore, it is very
early days for results. Systems research requires several years
for concrete conclusions as this overcomes a specific `year'
e ect on the results.
Cows are milk-recorded twice monthly and these results are
compared with the daily yields from the milking parlour. Table
5 below shows the milk recording for 2016. Due to the small
numbers of cows in the high and low PTA groups, overall
results for the group are shown.
2016 fertility performance
Breeding started on April 25 and continued for 12 weeks. All
breeding was by artificial insemination (AI) and the list of bulls
used is shown in Table 7 below.
The 2016 reproductive performance is shown in Table 8.
Submission rate was high at 91 per cent, however, conception
rates were low and while the empty rate was respectable at 9
per cent, the six-week calving rate for 2017 will be lower than
expected.
Five cows were not pregnant when they were scanned in
early September resulting in an empty rate of 9 per cent.
Replacement rate will be maintained at 23 per cent to ensure
empty cows are replaced, allow for some voluntary culling and
maintain a high level of genetic progress.
Conclusions
This project is currently funded to run at UCD Lyons for a three-
year period. In the first year, milk production has come to within
5 per cent of expectations. In future years, it will be interesting
to see if grass growth can be increased and if acceptable
levels of fertility can be achieved to ensure the sustainability of
such as system.
Acknowledgements:
This project is very much a team e ort with significant input from
Professor Finbar Mulligan, Dr Karina Pierce, Dr Bridget Lynch,
Luke O'Grady BVMS, Professor Alan Fahey, Dr Michael Wallace,
Dr Jenny Davis, and the farm sta at Lyons, especially dairy
manager, Michael Clarke, and the farm manager, Dr Eddie Jordan.